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Snow!


westie
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Hi, Snow here has been really bad, I havent been able to get in to work and neither have some of my staff. I run an after school club which is open today but being run by the staff and committee that live close enough to walk.

 

Haven spoken to a staff member, the head has asked them what the contingency plan is if parents physically cannot get to the club to pick up their children!

 

To be honest whether niave or not i hadnt even thought of that as an option. Does anybody else have a contingency plan for parents not being able to collect because of the weather?

 

Apparantely the head has had to put some staff up in a hotel tonight because they are not able to get home! Im guessing this is what has prompted her question, but???

 

Your thoughts welcomed!

 

Jo

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Guest sn0wdr0p

Fortunately 3 of us live a 5 minute walk from work so we can always open the OOS club. If it was really bad I wouldn't ask those who live further afield to come in or if things worsened during the day I would send them home early.

 

As for parents not able to collect their children we have stayed open until 8pm before due to snow- last night was only until 7pm but I suppose if parents could not get to us neither could social services who we are supposed to contact after 6.30pm (we use our common sense here) so I suppose with parents permission I would taken them home if there was no chance of anyone getting to them. my husband is CRB checked for when he helps in the OOS club so that does make it easier. I think I would contact Ofsted as well before doing so though - if there was anyone there at 9PM-I bet they couldn't come up with a solution.

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Guest sn0wdr0p

Oh gosh perish the thought. I wouldn't take my 40 home. I think a sleepover at the nursery/club would be fun in those circumstances. (Well, not fun for me - my 12 year old had one at the weekend and we got no sleep until the early hours so I dread to imagine 40)

 

In our tidy out of our loft at Christmas we came across an astonishing 13 sleeping bags which we have gathered over the years so I think we would be OK there.

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this is the thing we have 75 kids, our very lovely chair person came in and rang parents to ask them to come early. however even with this it was taking parents hours to do what should have been a 15/20 minute journey the roads were sooo bad. luckily all parents were there by 6.30 but the heads questioning got me thinking!

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When we had heavy snow last year we requested parents make their way to collect their children at the end of school. Some of our OOS club parents work some distance away so we did have a few children but luckily we were able to send most of the staff home early and two of us whose homes are within walking distance remained. We did have one child left till 6.30 pm!

I think if parents could not collect we would just remain in our building with them but I guess it depends on your building.

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So what contingency does the school have for parents not collecting on time.. how would they cope if a lot of parents had issues collecting their children at end of the school day and were delayed by the same amount of time..

 

I think late collection due to weather conditions is a different reason and personally would not class it the same as an uncollected child , maybe set a plan into action in that in bad weather parents are all called to collect at end of the school day or as soon as they can get there..

 

if they can many employers send staff home early in bad weather..

 

actually thinking about it I can remember being sent home from school lunchtime in bad snow once when I was at school, had to walk all the way home.. 3 miles in snow.. buses were too full...( it was senior school)

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When we lived in Scotland they had very clear snow procedures. One of the things parents were asked to do was provide a snow emergency contact - someone who lived near the school who was prepared to take in your child if you were unable to get there. There was only once that my son was sent home with the emergency contact but thankfully I was able to follow a snow plough and managed to pick him up an hour later.

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Not had a flake of snow yet BUT.....can you tell me where you stand on paying staff if you,re open but they can't make it in due to snow.....deputy asked the question today, my reply was if open, no arrival no pay, if closed paid (sure this has been previous though many moons ago committee decision) ..dep got on soap box saying how unfair is that it wouldn't be their fault, but in all honesty had I called it the other way it would have been 'how unfair is that for walkers to be in while others stay off paid' so a no win situation really but just wondered what others take on this is......bl**dy snow grrrr

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We have just been chatting about this today, myself and my deputy would accept that if staff couldn't come in because their children were off because of the snow (primary/senior school closures) or couldn't drive in because of the snow, they would still be paid.

 

If local conditions were this bad then we would close the pre-school and staff would still be paid, after all our funding remains unaffected at least for a day or so.

 

We also have to look at the safety aspects, we are in a community building that is at the bottom of a long windy narrow road which does not get treated with any salt/grit. This makes conditions very treacherous even for walkers.

 

I had a company call me up on Monday this week selling salt/grit but we have been told that if we treat the road and paths and somebody falls over or a car crashes then we are liable to be sued! Can not believe it!

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We also have to look at the safety aspects, we are in a community building that is at the bottom of a long windy narrow road which does not get treated with any salt/grit. This makes conditions very treacherous even for walkers.

 

I had a company call me up on Monday this week selling salt/grit but we have been told that if we treat the road and paths and somebody falls over or a car crashes then we are liable to be sued! Can not believe it!

 

We are in the same situation with reference to location, and I hate it when I have to make the decision should we/ shouldn't we open.

 

We have also been told not to put our own grit/salt down too, or if we do, to make it clear to parents that it is only for staff safety and that we can not be held responsible for any accidents that may occur

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Guest sn0wdr0p

A good suggestion from the headmaster at our local school was to risk assess throughout the day and if you decide there would be problems for emergency services getting access to you - for example if a child was ill or injured - then you should close.

 

In honesty we are all pretty excited about tomorrow and although we are only in a yellow warning area with an expected 5-10cm we are looking forward to a day very different day from the norm. We are expecting snow tonight as well as we are very close to the East Coast. I'm preparing for lots of trudging through blizzards as we collect from 3 local school and I'm pretty sure at least two of them will close early as we are pretty rural.

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With regards to gritting on recent H&S training we were told to 'use common sense'

 

Yes. you could be sued if you grit -HOWEVER..you're equally likely to be sued for 'failing to to grit' when you know people are going to use the route- If someone has a blame claim mentality they will get you either way!

 

...and 'if' you should end up in court, most judges would probably understand you were only doing what you thought was in the best interest.

 

x

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as we are located in a portable building every year we have trouble with frozen pipes to the middle of the building where the toilets/sinks are located, this happened today on arriving for the early breakfast club no water! fortunately we had water in the kitchen so was able to put the tea urn on (top priority!) ;) luckily, by 10 am we had water! having to make the decision whether to remain open because lots of sickness about and for obvious reasons need hot running water and flushing toilets. why these buildings aren't lagged properly underneath is a mystery?! we have managed to lag the pipes near the front where the kitchen is

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I've yet to hear of a single case where someone has successfully sued someone else after they slipped but the path has been cleared and/or gritted. I think this is a case of the media taking hold of something and creating an issue where there is none.

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we had 3 children in on friday, 1 went home at 12.30 but the other 2 brothers were due to stay until 3.30 but mum offered to pick them up at 12.30 so that we could all go home. I offered her an extra session for the 2 boys next week and she was really pleased so I would say offer it because goodwill goes a long way

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I've yet to hear of a single case where someone has successfully sued someone else after they slipped but the path has been cleared and/or gritted. I think this is a case of the media taking hold of something and creating an issue where there is none.

hate to say it Beau but as I said in another post it is dependant on individual insurance policies and always best to check - i doubt anyone has with regard to public pathways but in the case of gritting areas that are not your responsibility be careful - as supervisor of preschool and also a trustee on the village hall committee I know to be careful in this area therefore we only grit the porch and yard where the children enter and play therefore we would not be liable for car park - sadly we live in a nanny state and the suing culture from U.S has become all too imbedded over here.

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